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Midwives want health care units in villages

Apr 5 (Island) The Public Service Midwifery Union (PSMU) has urged the Health Secretary to take immediate measures to establish a community health nursing service and establish health care units at village and provincial level. PSMU Secretary D. P. K. Balasuriya yesterday said that the World Health Organisation had made the recommendation in its Development report for Nursing and Midwifery services over ten years ago, but the Health Ministry had failed to adopt it. more..

‘Govt will strengthen free health service’

Apr 5 (DN) The govt always stands to safeguard and strengthen the free health service while implementing qualitative and timely measures such as free education, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. He was addressing a meeting at Temple Trees yesterday to create awareness among the people on leading a healthy lifestyle and forming a wholesome society. The event was jointly organised by the Health Ministry and the World Health Organisation to prevent non-communicable diseases (NCD) more..

‘Rakna Lanka’ earns Rs 940 million

Apr 5 (CT) The ‘Rakna Lanka’ Security Service has earned an annual revenue of Rs. 940 million by providing security services to state institutions. This was revealed when Chief Govt Whip, Dinesh Gunawardena answered a verbal question by DNA MP, Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Dissanayake inquired, who heads ‘Rakna Lanka’ to which Minister Gunawardena said it is Major General W.P.P. Fernando and further asked whether all the persons who are employed in ‘Rakna Lanka’ more..

USD 7.7 million monthly rental for 21 aircraft

Apr 5 (Island) The government pays US $ 7.7 million as monthly lease rental for 21 air craft employed by the SriLankan Airlines, said a document tabled, in Parliament yesterday, by Civil Aviation Minister Piyankara Jayaratne. Mihin Lanka too had obtained two craft on lease basis and their monthly rental stands around at US $ 475,000, the report said. SriLankan Airlines had earned a total income of Rs 216,138 million during the years 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. more..

Harsha claims Govt., CB lack credibility

Apr 5 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday charged that the Govt and the Central Bank seriously lacked credibility, whilst the people were being taken for a ride with falsehood. He alleged that a few months ago the Govt, especially the Central Bank, was hoodwinking the masses saying the economy was robust and fiscal and monetary management were prudent. “However, it was out of sheer desperation that the Govt had to finally succumb to IMF support,” more..

Schoolgirl killed in crocodile attack

Apr 5 (Island) In yet another crocodile attack in the Akuressa police area, a 16-year-old schoolgirl was killed at Malimbada (north) yesterday morning. The police identified the victim as D. K. Nuwanthika Sathsarani. The police quoted villagers as having said that the victim was washing her face in the Nilwala Ganga when a crocodile attacked her and dragged her deep into the river. Sources said that the girl was a Grade 12 student of the Palatuwa National School. more..

Sri Lanka reaching foreign borrowing limits, may need rate hike: report

Apr 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka is reaching its foreign borrowing limit and interest rates may needed to be raised further to curb credit and cure a balance of payment crisis, a media report quoting Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera said "Sri Lanka is reaching the limits on borrowing. The govt itself has a $3 billion bond market," Jayasundera was quoted as saying by Reuters. "Given our size, reserve levels, export size, I would consider that's a kind of a ceiling. "So we can't go for unlimited borrowing for external balances." more..

Mangala recalls how MR internationalised Sri Lanka’s internal problems

Apr 5 (Island) UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera yesterday recalled how the then Opposition MP Mahinda Rajapaksa had internationalized domestic issues by taking up human rights at the UNHRC in Geneva during the 1987-1990 period. Samaraweera, who worked closely with Rajapaksa at that time, told parliament that it was Rajapaksa who had first raised human rights violations on behalf of the then political Opposition. more..

Insufficient surgical units put children with heart problems at risk

Apr 5 (Island) Around 3,000 to 5,000 children, who are scheduled to undergo heart surgery at only the Lady Ridgeway Hospital in Colombo, Kandy and the Karapitiya Teaching Hospitals, are at risk as they have to be in the waiting lists. Although Sri Lanka boasts of providing an excellent health service, a considerable number of children scheduled for heart surgery die due to long waiting lists and lack of operating facilities for children in other hospitals, a doctor, more..

‘I too was an IDP’ – Lord Naseby

Apr 5 (Island) "The differentiation of Northern Muslim IDPs into ‘Old’ and ‘New’ continues to fester in the Muslim community and needs to be resolved. "If the govt recognises this clearly then you can move forward. But it’ll take a long time. I can say this since I too was an IDP once," empathised Rt. Hon. Lord Naseby, PC, Baron of Sandy and Member of the House of Lords of the UK Parliament and Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka, on March 04. more..

USD 1.6 million UN corruption files

Apr 5 (SL) A leaked 50 page document by the UN’s Chief Investigator, Inga Britt Ahlenius, dated 14 July 2010 and entitled “End of Assignment Report” trashes Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on accountability and transparency, largely deservedly. The UN’s Chief Investigator wrote, “Is the United Nations now on the right path, more transparent, more accountable? I address this question under four main headlines: Transparency, Accountability, Oversight more..

The party of the dead

Apr 5 (LB) The headline is taken from the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s masterpiece The House of the Dead. This novel speaks about a hard labour prison in Siberia and is an ideal tool in my depiction of the principal Tamil party and its character at this juncture. The TNA took a decision not to participate in the 19th session of the UNHRC in Geneva – one of the wisest steps taken by the party in its long and chequered history. more..

We should go local - NFF

Apr 5 (CT) The govt should tell the people how the country will face the Geneva Resolution and move forward, National Freedom Front (NFF) stated. Addressing a media briefing, NFF MP Piyasiri Wijenayake said the govt should make the general public aware of the impact the Geneva resolution could have on the country, and should also inform the public of how the country can face it and overcome its obstacles. more..

Karu visits Fonseka

Apr 5 (CT) Former UNP deputy leader, Karu Jayasuriya, visited former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka at the Welikada Prison yesterday. Jayasuriya stated he visits Fonseka twice a week in the hope of strengthening his willpower and to ensure his needs are met. “Fonseka played a vital role in relieving our country of a 26 year long civil war and made it possible for us all to live in peace” Jayasuriya said. more..

No one found guilty over ‘Sirikotha’ mob attack says Srinath

Apr 5 (Island) No one had been found guilty in connection with the stone throwing mob attack on the UNP headquarters Sirikotha in December last year. The preliminary inquiry had only identified persons who were involved in the incidents based on the evidence submitted, the Chairman of the Inquiry Committee Srinath Perera, PC, said yesterday. He said that the committee had followed accepted norms in more..

'Non-communal voters of North must be given leadership'

Apr 5 (DN) It should be a priority of the state to ensure that communal politics are removed from Northern politics, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said. He said there is a vast number of voters in the Northern Province who are not for ethnic politics, TNA or any other separatist inclined organisations that have been engaged in ethnic politics over the past years. After the completion of the humanitarian operation and the conflict, more..

COPE concerned over lack of supervision by Treasury

Apr 5 (DM) The Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) yesterday expressed concern over the supervision of public enterprises by the Treasury, which is the controlling arm of state owned ventures. COPE Chairman D.E.W. Gunasekara said President Mahinda Rajapaksa had shown a special interest on the recommendations made in the COPE report tabled in Parliament. “President Rajapaksa submitted the report to the ministers and more..

CPC still to collect Rs. 63.6 bn from debtors

Apr 5 (Island) Govt institutions, private power plants and airlines owed the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) more than Rs. 63.6 bn despite a large chunk of the debts being settled during the first two months of this year, Minister Susil Premjayantha told Parliament yesterday. The Ceylon Electricity Board, which had been biggest debtor till December last year, with over Rs 67.2 bn, had by the end of February paid the CPC nearly Rs. 60 billion to settle its arrears. more..

FR case filed against bus fare hike

Apr 5 (Island) A fundamental rights violation application has been filed in the Supreme Court by two JVPers against the recent bus fare hike. The petitioners, MP Sunil Handunetti and former CMC Member Sumith Parasperuma, have said that the recent increase in bus fares were done without considering the guidelines given in the National Transport Policy, which states that the bus fares should be increased at any time by 15.8 per cent only. more..

Sri Lanka to restructure missions abroad

Apr 5 (DM) Sri Lanka has decided to restructure its diplomatic missions with emphasis being placed on countries such as Turkey, Nigeria, Azerbaijan, Seychelles and Mauritius, Minister of External Affairs, Professor G.L Peiris said. Responding to media reports that the government was going to close down some missions in Europe in the aftermath of the Geneva resolution, the Minister said that it would be unwise to act in such a manner. more..

Editorial: Appreciate journalist who disturb with the truth

Apr 5 (DM) It is indeed sad that in the hallowed precinct of the Kelaniya temple, a minister had the audacity to make the most outlandish and bizarre statements. He claims that no mercy would be shown to traitors. He went on to say that threatening to break limbs is a lesser punishment, when compared with those that existed during the time of ancient kings. Buddhism and other religions, call for compassion and loving kindness to others. It is easy to do so to those more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.4-pct

Apr 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.41 percent Thursday ahead of the Easter weekend with both indices up and net foreign buying, brokers said. The benchmark All Share Price Index gained 0.41 percent to 5423.25, while the Milanka Index of liquid stocks was up 0.34 percent to close at 4893.67. Turnover was nearly 635 million rupees with a volume of 24.8 million shares traded. Brokers said foreign participation was positive for the week ending Thursday at 787.5 million rupees, more..

Sky blue Water lily named correct national flower

Apr 5 (Island) The sky blue Water Lily, scientifically known as Nymphaea Nouchali, which is endemic to the country, has been named as the correct national flower of Sri Lanka. The decision was taken yesterday by a committee of experts appointed, by Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, to identify the genuine national flower, the Ministry’s Biodiversity Secretariat chief Ajith Silva said. He said that the plans are afoot to publish details more..

Whose pockets are swelled?

Apr 5 (LT) Contradictory reports on expenditure of various mass scale projects carried out by the present government are being presented. Several examples to support this have been quoted. According to the Central Bank report of 2008 the estimate to construct the Maththala Airport was Rs.19,250 million. According to the 2010 report of the Ministry of Finance it is Rs.23,276 million. Also, an estimate of Rs.42,212 was presented by the Central Bank in 2008 for Hambantotqa harbor. more..

NLAC TUs want labour laws amended

Apr 5 (Island) Trade unions affiliated to the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) on Tuesday said they were planning to forward a joint letter to the Ministry of Labour regarding employers seeking interim injunctions from Courts preventing trade union action of the state and the private sector employees to win their demands. The trade unions wanted the secretary to the ministry to take up the matter at the next NLAC meeting. "Trade unions have been subjected to such more..

Champika calls for arrest of LTTE’S Rudrakumar

Apr 5 (DM) Minister Champika Ranawaka called for the arrest of LTTE Leaders residing abroad and are trying to destabilize Sri Lanka once more. Minister who was speaking during the adjournment debate on the Geneva resolution in Parliament yesterday said some LTTE leaders including Pushpanadanthan Rudrakumar who are residing abroad are planning to destabilize the country and disturb the govt’s efforts to bring about peace among communities. more..

Card Ranjith tells priests to live in Christ, follow the Church

Apr 5 (AN) "Let us then reflect about the beauty and the dignity of our vocation as priests and allow the Lord to shine through us, weak though we are, leading us to where he wishes to take us-writing the beautiful story of our life," said Card Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo, in his homily during the Holy Chrism Mass held in All Saints Church, Borella in Colombo. Some 200 priests from 123 parishes in the diocese took part in the liturgy. more..

Environmental Police identify 160 abandoned houses and lands

Apr 5 (Island) The Environment Police have identified over 160 abandoned houses and lands in the Colombo District and are attempting to locate the owners of those places. The spokesman of the Health Ministry said that those places provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes as neighbours often make use of the unoccupied lands for their garbage disposal. There were many more lands and houses in the Colombo District which were unoccupied as owners had either shifted or more..

Tales of bruises and anguish from Gulf of Mannar

Apr 5 (Rediff) Sri Lankan navy's attacks on Indian fishermen sailing out from Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu have been a routine affair. Besides arrests and firing, the Lankan navy, which has been claiming that the fishermen often stray into its international maritime boundary line to lay their nets, has been resorting to pelting stones at the 'intruders'. It, perhaps, is the only navy in the world that resorts to such an act. more..

Canteen owners shed light on Bandula’s lunch packet comment

Apr 5 (AD) University authorities and canteen owners alike shed some light on how lunch packets at University canteens are sold at such nominal prices following comments by Minister Bandula Gunawardena on the Wada Pitiya show on TV Derana. The Minister claimed while debating his much talked about theory that Rs.2500 a month was enough for a person to survive in Sri Lanka, that the lunch packets sold at the Colombo University by privately owned canteens that more..

Sri Lanka to make Dutch Fort admin office a tourist attraction

Apr 5 (LBO) An govt administration building inside a 17th century Dutch Fort in Sri Lanka's south will be turned into a museum and part of its will be commercially developed as a tourist attraction, a minister said. The cabinet had decided to give the building to UDA to renovate, minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said. He said a section will be leased out for commercial purposes. "There is no decision to make it a hotel but it will be more, like the Old Dutch Hospital in Colombo," more..

Pietersen hundred puts England in command

Apr 5 (CI) A century of great bravado, and quite a little theatre, by Kevin Pietersen put England on top by tea on the third day of the second Test in Colombo. Pietersen brought chaos to Sri Lanka's ranks with a potent combination of imperious strokeplay and impatient slogs to reach his hundred in 109 balls with 11 fours and three sixes. On a dead pitch that it had generally been agreed made strokeplay almost impossible, Pietersen proved that such limits more..

Museum theft: Police seek public help

Apr 5 (DN) The Police have sought public support to trace the archives stolen from the National Museum on March 16. The Police urged the public to report if they have any information on persons who possess or are attempting to sell these items on 0722117620 or 0777887744. A total of 221 items had been stolen. Among them are 68 gold coins belonging to Anuradhapura and Kandy periods, three gold commemorative coins, a chain with 27 gold ancient coins, 50 silver coins and silver more..

Prasanna takes a clonking

Apr 5 (CI) A wicketkeeper's job is tough enough without wild throws from your team-mates. Prasanna Jayawardene had a difficult day behind the stumps with low bounce not making his task easy and at the end of an over from Randiv was given a blow on the head for good measure. Randiv picked up the ball in his follow through and, as bowlers like to do, hurled it back towards the batsman who momentarily blinded Jayawardene and the ball struck his head. An inch or two lower and it would have been the eye. more..

Sri Lanka hikes policy rate by 75bp to curb credit

Apr 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka raised its key policy rate by 75 basis points to 9.75 percent to curb credit which was still growing at an "undesired rate", and state borrowings were also high, the Central Bank said. Sri Lanka rupee came under pressure from high credit growth from the middle of 2011 and the Central Bank raised policy rates by 50 basis points in February and also asked banks to slow loans. more..

Christian Council urge to implement LLRC

Apr 5 (ST) The National Christian Council today urged the Govt to fully implement the LLRC recommendations. The statement issued by the NCC said “The National Christian Council calls on those who are in authority, and very specially the Govt, to formulate a constructive position on the resolution adopted by the UNHCR in Geneva. Such a position should be aimed at fostering national reconciliation of all people in Sri Lanka and move beyond mere emotional sentiments, more..

No anger, hostility in our ties with India: Lanka FM

Apr 5 (PTI) Indo-Sri Lanka ties remain good despite India backing a resolution moved by the US at the UNHRC against Colombo, Foreign Minister G L Peiris has said, observing that no bilateral relationship is one dimensional and "we must not be obsessed with what happened and move on". Addressing Parliament last night in response to the opposition's assertion that Sri Lanka's ties with India had nose-dived, Peiris said "there is no anger or hostility." more..

Sri Lankan diplomat may avoid questioning on war crimes claims

Apr 5 (Guardian) The Foreign Office has been warned it is running out of time to take action against a senior London-based Sri Lankan diplomat who is facing allegations of complicity in crimes against humanity. Last week, the Guardian revealed that an organisation representing the Tamil diaspora was launching legal action against the FCO over its failure to confront Major General Prasanna de Silva - the defence adviser at the Sri Lanka high commission more..

Pietersen warned for switch hit

Apr 5 (CI) Kevin Pietersen was given an official warning for shaping to play the switch hit before Tillakaratne Dilshan was in his delivery stride on the third afternoon at the P Sara Oval. Pietersen, who made his 20th Test hundred, began to get into place for the shot as Dilshan started his run-up and the bowler twice aborted his run up. The incident occurred during an enthralling head-to-head between Pietersen and Dilshan, which had already seen Pietersen switch his grip around to strike the bowler through the off side. more..

Sri Lanka eager to enhance trade relations with Pakistan

Apr 5 (PO) Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Pakistan Jayalath Weerakkody has said that his country is eager to enhance the trade relations with Pakistan. He said that both the countries are enjoying deep political relations and it is need of the hour to promote bilateral trade relations between the two countries. He stated this while exchanging views with a delegation of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) led by more..